Labor day weekend I had the very surreal opportunity to sign a copy of Whiskey & Wheelguns: Foreshadows. Despite the fact my story within was mediocre at best Delilah S. Dawson was charitable enough to ask for a signature. My brain froze and I’m sure the look on my face could’ve easily ayed poster child for utter confusion. I think I mumbled a disjointed ‘Seriously?’ or maybe I laughed and said ‘That’s funny.’ Whatever I may have said, Mrs Dawson looked back at me, handed over book and pen, and said she wasn’t joking.
I took the pen, and then the book, opened it and stared blankly at the title page. I had no idea what to write. I could’ve simply signed my name but we’ve had a number of conversations over the past two years. She’s been a panelist at Crossroads Macon for the past two years and she sat on several panels over the weekend at DragonCon. While Servants of the Storm was barely an ARC, she was kind enough to allow me the joy of reading the book at Crossroads and a couple of signings.
As I held the pen in my hand and stared at the white space on the page I knew whatever I wrote alongside my name had to be meaningful to me. She might see the illegible scribblings of an hebetudinous earwig but for me, it would say much more. Finally, I wrote ‘Delilah, Thanks for being such a positive influence.’ What did I mean by that? At first I simply meant ‘Thank you’ for the panels and the Twitter posts. But, in hindsight, I feel it’s so much more than just that.
I’m an introvert by nature. It’s extremely hard for me to step forward and strike up a conversation with a stranger. Hell, I have difficulty managing small talk with anyone short of my oldest friends. It’s been brought to my attention that many, if not most, writers are introverts in one degree or another. Some are barely 1 on the Introversion Dial, while others crank that fucker to 11. Knowing this makes it easier. If you’re an introvert and I’m an introvert then maybe, just maybe, we’ll both forgive the other’s stilted conversation.
Yes, there is a point hiding here amongst the rambling. As I was saying, I thanked Mrs Dawson for her positive influence. She may not realize it but she’s done more for my introversion than my writing. She claims to be an introvert and it’s been a topic of conversation on Twitter on several occasions but I’ve had the opportunity to watch her speak and I can honestly say she’s a great orator, well spoken and precise. This, more than anything, has had profound impact on the business side of my writer’s life.
Thanks to Delilah S Dawson’s seemingly superhuman disregard for her introversion when it matters I’ve been struggling to do likewise. I’ve made contacts and connections that would not have been possible a mere two years ago. There’s a window in my wall and, occasionally, I can open it and chat with passers-by.
So, again, I say, “Thank you, Delilah.”